It’s road season in the country No snowbanks, no black ice, no whiteouts, no blizzards. Turtle-dodging month is over. They have laid their eggs and either got back to the marsh or been flattened trying. The gravel roads have been graded and many of the pot holes have actually been filled thanks to the county crew cruising about with shovels and a mound of asphalt in their pickup.
Now is the time to take to the back roads if only to look at the riot of white, yellow and purple wildflowers blooming in the ditches. A deer might flash across in front of you or a flock of wild turkeys drift along just over the
fence. Wildlife is quite habituated to moving traffic, not even looking up when a vehicle whooshes past. Only if you slow to get a look do the critters bolt for the brush. It’s different with cattle and horses. They’ll come right up to the fence to give you a good sniff or a lick. You’re the big event in their day. Sheep don’t care one way or the other.
You’ll get a close up look at crops that feed us. Corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, apple orchards. There’s old houses and falling down barns or maybe just stands of lilacs to show where a farmstead used to be. This is where you find the odd big elm that has survived Dutch elm disease shading all across the road.
Likely as not, there’s a wide spot to pull over and nice grassy bank beside a narrow old bridge and a creek for a picnic because there’s no Tim Horton’s. You’ll dip through swamp and be able to peer straight into straight into dim depths where the tree canopy shuts out the sun and water lies pooled among the roots. That swamp road was once made of logs laid side by side with enough gravel thrown on top to drive a wagon across.
Of course, you’ll also come across, at the end of some back-of-nowhere, washboardy, cedar overgrown road, a glittering, newly built abode complete with pool, sunroom and solar panels.
People are catching on about country roads. Enjoy them while you can.